May 12, 2014

Saint Peter's Baseball Battles St. John's On Tuesday On ESPN3 In Final Non-Conference Contest

ESPN3 Broadcast

SAINT PETER'S (11-37) at ST. JOHNS (32-17)
Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 6 p.m.
Jack Kaiser Stadium, Queens, N.Y.

Probable Starters
LHP A.J. Celentano vs. LHP Alex Katz

opening pitch… Saint Peter's will play its final non-conference game of the year when it travels to St. John's on Tuesday night. The Red Storm have won all 17 previous meetings against the Peacocks, including a 10-4 decision in 2006.

the word on the red storm… St. Johns comes into the contest 32-17 after taking two from Creighton over the weekend. Robbie Knightes paces the team with a .370 batting average, 44 hits, 18 runs scored, five doubles, a triple and 22 RBIs. Jarred Mederos ranks second on the team with a .363 batting average, 49 hits, 24 runs scored, eight doubles, a triple, two homer and 34 RBIs while Brett Dennis is hitting .349 with 37 hits, 26 runs scored, four doubles, two homers and 22 RBIs. LHP Alex Katz is 1-2 with a 3.89 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 37.0 innings pitched.

last time out… Marist defeated Saint Peter's 9-2 on Sunday. Rob Moore knocked in both runs for the Peacocks on a two-run homer in the ninth. Jon Kristoffersen posted a hit and a run scored and Kyle Grimes registered two hits in the loss.

next on tap… Saint Peter's plays its final regular season conference series at Manhattan on Thursday and Friday.

single season hit leader… Sophomore Jon Kristoffersen recorded two hits against Rutgers on May 6 to become the program's all-time single-season hit leader with 65. The sophomore passed Chris Pini (63, 1994) and Preston Aldridge (64, 2011) and now has 67 hits this season.

the nolan ryan of saint peter's… Senior Zach Hopf became the program's all-time career leader in strikeouts with his second punch out of the third inning against Rider on Apr. 12 to surpass Chris Innis (217, 2005-08) as the all-time strikeout king and now has 244 strikeouts for his career. The senior had a dominate performance against the Broncs, notching a career-high 13 strikeouts on the day. The senior has 23 strikeouts in his final two games at Jaroschak Field.

single season lists… Junior Chris Hugg sits in sixth place for RBIs this season with 40. The junior can move up to fourth place with one RBI and third place with five runs batted in. Hugg is also third in team history with 15 doubles and needs four to tie the single-season mark. Sophomore Jon Kristoffersen has moved into 10th place for runs scored in the single-season charts with 36 runs scored. The sophomore can move into seventh place with one run and sixth place with two runs.

statistically speaking… Jon Kristoffersen leads the team with a .327 batting average, 67 hits, 36 runs scored, 11 doubles, three triples, a homer and 17 RBIs. Rob Moore ranks second on the team with a .318 batting average, 48 hits, 23 runs scored, 10 doubles, a triple, five homers and 29 RBIs while Nick Henriquez is third on the team with a .296 batting average, 50 hits, 23 runs scored, four doubles, a triple, two homers and 19 RBIs.

covering all the bases… Rob Moore leads the team with five homers. Chris Hugg is second on the team with four dingers while Jim Smith has gone deep three times and Nick Henriquez has gone yard twice. Jon Kristoffersen and Ariel Ramirez have each gone deep once this year. Hugg also has a team-high 15 doubles while Kristoffersen is second on the squad with 11 two baggers.

hopf honored by the league… Zach Hopf was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Pitcher of the Week for the week of Apr. 7-13. Hopf posted eight shutout innings while scattering six hits with 13 strikeouts to earn his second win of the year. The senior struck out the side twice on the day after accomplishing the feat in the second and the fifth. He pitched a season-high eight innings, throwing 123 pitches with 89 strikes.

garden state of mind… Saint Peter's is 7-5 against teams from New Jersey. The Peacocks defeated Seton Hall 9-8 on Mar. 19 and NJIT 6-3 on Mar. 25. Saint Peter's suffered its first loss this season against a team from New Jersey with an 11-3 setback on Mar. 27 to the Pirates and also fell 5-3 in 10 innings against the Highlanders on Apr. 22, 15-0 to Seton Hall on Apr. 29 and 7-5 to Rutgers on May 6. In conference play, the Peacocks went 2-1 against Monmouth and 3-0 against Rider to go 5-1 in the Hourglass Rivalry. Saint Peter's is 5-3 in Jersey City this season, including 5-1 at Jaroschak Field.

smith honored… Senior catcher Jim Smith was named to the All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Preseason team. Smith, who was named to the All-MAAC second team last season, was second on the team with a .285 batting average, 37 hits, 21 runs scored, 10 doubles, a homer and 25 RBIs in his junior campaign. Smith was the team's top hitter in league play, boasting a .318 batting average with 21 hits, 12 runs scored, three doubles, a homer and 13 RBIs. Behind the plate, the junior threw out 33 of the 49 runners attempting to steal to boast a 40.2 percentage.

preseason poll… The Peacocks baseball team was tabbed ninth in the MAAC Preseason Coaches Poll. Canisius, the defending MAAC Tournament champions, were tabbed as the preseason favorite, edging newcomer Monmouth by 14 points in the poll. Rider and Siena, who both made the MAAC Tournament last season were selected 3-4 in the poll while Marist, Fairfield, Manhattan, Niagara, Saint Peter's, Iona and Quinnipiac round out the 11-team poll. Monmouth and Quinnipiac both joined the league this season after playing in the Northeast Conference last season.

league changed for 2014… Monmouth and Quinnipiac both joined the MAAC in 2014 after playing in the Northeast Conference last season. In addition, the league has expanded the playoffs from four teams to six squads due to the unbalanced circuit schedule. The MAAC Tournament will be held at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, N.J., on May 21-25. The Top-6 teams will advance to the tournament.

keep the light alive… Sophomore John Leiter comes from a great a great baseball family. Both of his uncles (Al and Mark) pitched in Major League Baseball. 

honored at saint peter's banquet… Seniors Ed Mejias and Adam Purcilly were honored at the Saint Peter's athletics banquet on Apr. 28. Mejias was presented with the Bill Stein Peacock Pride Award while Purcilly was named the Scholar-Athlete of the Year for having the highest GPA for a graduating student-athlete senior.

new to the flock… Freshmen AJ Celentano, DJ Nozza, Steven Price, Brennan Rowe, Paul Schifilliti, Kevin Soriano, junior Chris Hugg and graduate student Frank Morris each joined the team in 2014. Morris comes to Saint Peter's from Seton Hall.